Math teachers, some homework ?'s...

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by GTB4GT, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    Aug 13, 2012

    first some background info - last year I taught geometry, statistics and supervised ISS the last half of the day. Two preps and 28 students total.

    This year - 4 preps, 6 periods of teaching and 100 students.

    Last year I collected, looked at, reviewed every single HW assignment. It helped me diagnose and plan lessons, provide feedback and let the students know it was important and that I looked at it.

    This year I can't handle that much paperwork but still believe that doing HW is critical. I am thinking of not taking it up but giving frequent quizzes taken directly from the homework. So I can check but cut down on amount of papers I handle. will this work? What do you do? any suggestions/ideas/etc. are appreciated. I have a % of students that I am afraid will not do the work if they don't think "it counts". Thx.
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I've been in the classroom a long time. Here's the system that works for me:

    I check homework every day as my kids do their Do Now problem(s) . I walk up and down the aisles, running a highlighter through each assignment (so a buddy won't show me the same notebook later in the day.)

    Then I ask if there are any questions, and go over the problems they request. I do NOT grade homework other than noting done, not done, or incomplete (roughly half done.)

    At the end of the marking period, I translate the number of completed homeworks into a percent, and it counts as half their quiz/homework grade.

    I do allow my kids to miss, then make up for full credit, up to 3 per marking period. Sometimes life gets in the way of homework, and I would rather a makeup than an assignment copied on the bus.

    I also have a 20 minute cap per night. At the end of 20 minutes, you're done, whether the assignment is complete or not. If you're one of the few who couldn't finish, then I expect to see you at extra help. If everyone struggled, then the problem is mine.

    (And just to make you feel better: 28 students, total???? I didn't have a single class as small as 28. I expect to teach geometry to ballpark 200 kids this year, :) )
     
  4. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

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    Aug 13, 2012

    I assign it almost everyday. I walk down the aisles and check it at most twice a week and grade it on a 0-3 pt scale. 0 is not done and 3 is at least 90% done with work shown.

    I occasionally give graded HWs (like once or twice a month), which are like take-home quizzes for 15-20 points, but they know the night before that it will be graded. The regular HW is for learning the material, and I believe it should help them learn. As such, I don't want to penalize them for errors at this stage. On the other hand, the graded HWs are after we've had a non-graded HW to go over.

    Besides this, I post most answers online anyway unless it is a graded HW. You can give exit cards, graded Do Nows, or small quizzes to check the day-to-day.

    I like the idea of HW quizzes, and even letting them use the assignment on the quiz. I may experiment with that this year.
     
  5. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    Small rural school - by design and perhaps the only way I would be interested in teaching. My smallest class last year had 6 kids, this year I have one with 3.

    Off topic (ironic huh since it's my own post?) but if people wanted to "fix education" they would (imo) look at class size near or at the top of the list. It's amazing the difference in the feel of a class with a handful of kids vs. 28+. I do know that effective teachers can and do deal with 30 kids in a very effective manner but i wish everyone could experience the joy of walking into a class of 6 kids. In that setting, there are no behavioral or discipline issues and you can reach each student individually.
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 13, 2012

    OK, here's my disclaimer.

    I'm in a Catholic High school in the suburbs, with kids who want to be there, supportive parents, and an amazingly supportive administration.

    Discipline issues don't exist, or don't last long.
     
  7. Catcherman22

    Catcherman22 Companion

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    Aug 13, 2012

    I'm almost identical to this.. except I randomly choose when I grade homework. I check it during classwork time, checking for completeness (for their grade) and spot checking one problem for my info.
     
  8. ACardAttack

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    Aug 14, 2012

    I'd check to see if they did it, give them the answers, ask for questions, and at the end of the week you can give a quiz using those same problems or similar problems
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 14, 2012

    That's pretty much my MO.

    You know what they say about great minds... ;)
     
  10. paperlabs

    paperlabs Rookie

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    Aug 14, 2012

    I've worked the room similar to Aliceacc, but with fewer students (30 five times a day) and in a public school. Another thing I often did when I got over-loaded was to GIVE THE ANSWER TO THE PRACTICE PROBLEMS. I TOLD STUDENTS TO SHOW ALL WORK AND CHECK THEIR FINAL ANSWERS. IF THEY GOT THE FINAL ANSWER WRONG THEY WERE TO GO BACK THROUGH IT AND FIND THEIR MISTAKE.
    To summarize, generally I gave notes and model problems, then practice problems to be done on their note papers. I checked the practice problems by working the room during class. If students were done with the practice they might have started working on hw until I gave the next model and practice. In working the room, I would help struggling students first, then I'd go around the room in an orderly fashion checking papers - grading papers with my pen. I usually had time to give as many as 3 credits for parts of the problem. I'd give a credit or an x. An x counted as 1 point for trying and a credit counted as 2 points for that part of the problem. Then I had students take their notes with model and practice problems home and add homework problems to the same papers. The next day I answered questions on the hw, then had everything (notes, graded classwork, and homework) turned in. During my prep.time I'd check for neatness and completeness and sometimes choose at most two problems to check. Then every day I put the grade for daily work (notes, classwork and homework) in the on-line grade book. I could easily use this system to have a daily notebook grade, daily classwork grade, daily quiz grade and daily homework grade. (I say easy, but really it is not as easy as a lot of jobs that pay more.)
    This usually seemed to best prepare them for tests.
    Often I would give an essay as one of the graded practice problems. If there was time (not often as our effective class time was really only about 32.5 minutes) I would have students explain to each other what they were going to write before they wrote it. Then I'd similarly work the room giving credits for clearly and correctly written key thoughts, or underline things that I didn't understand. They were motivated to learn to write so I could easily and quickly understand.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2012
  11. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Aug 14, 2012

    Do not feel bad about not being able to grade every assignment. Put some of the work on the students. They need to ask questions if they don't understand something. They need to start figuring out where they are missing information.

    Start off your year by explaining this to the students. Then provide the answers to homework questions and let them ask questions.
     

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